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G.S. Street--Fog 汉译

2015-06-10    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

G.S. Street--Fog 汉译

Fog

G.S. Street

An acquaintance has kindly informed me that there is in these scribblings of mine too much introspection, meditation, reflection. “Go out,” quoth he, “into the beautiful world, and write down what you see there.” I think he is wrong. There is far too much description done as it is. It is easy to go to a place and easy to write a sort of cataloguing description when one goes. Fitly to describe any visible thing whatever is the work of an artist, I question not. But artists are few and easy work is tempting: it seems well to me that some of us scribblers should sit at home and think. The result may not be magnificent, but there is sufficient rarity in the exercise to give it a sort of an odd flavour which may not be so dull to everybody as to my acquaintance. I always follow advice, however, and so, having received this, I took my hat and went out into the beautiful world, with the intention—but it really is a base intention—of writing down what I saw there.

Unfortunately there was a thick fog. Now the cultivated reader is assured, of course, that a London fog is a beautiful thing. But the only writing Londoner who has never described one may as well cling to this negative distinction. Besides, I doubt my aesthetic quality is old-fashioned. Curious, weird, interesting, I perceive a London fog to be: its beauty something eludes my gross vision. A mist, or a light  fugitive fantastic charm, but so has not a dense and isolating Vapour. I could write, with feeling and gratitude at least, of the beauty I saw at dusk, all last week, in the trees and distances of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The lonely grace of the winter trees, their bare tracery, unspeakably delicate, clear against a purple or violet haze in the sky, and the pretty fairyland where the yellow lamps made spots of colour—all this was beauty wonderful and magical, and I blessed my lot for once that I could go and gaze on it day by day. Immediately thereafter to perceive that masses of dirty vapour had their beauty also was too swift a turn for my senses. So I will let the description alone. After all, it has been claimed for a fog that it is a blessing to men of letters, because it forces them in upon themselves, and this fog drove me once more to reflection, since it is fated I should disappoint my acquaintance.

Beauty or none, there is much to be said for a London fog. It gives us all that “change” which we are always needing. When our world is all but invisible, and growing visible bit by bit looks utterly different from its accustomed self, the stupidest of us all can hardly fail to observe a change for our eyes at least as great as there would have been in going to Glasgow. When, arriving at one’s house or one’s club, that monotonous diurnal incident seems an almost incredible feat, accomplished with profound relief and gratitude for a safe deliverance, one has at least an unaccustomed sensation. One is not a man going into his club, but a mariner saved from shipwreck at the last gasp, to be greeted with emotion by erst indifferent waiters. Yes , a fog gives Londoners a more thorough change than going to the Riviera to avoid it. Then it brings out the kindness and cheerfulness, which are their prime claim to honour, into strong relief. True, it also throws into relief the incomparable egoism of the prosperous among them. People with no serious cares or worries in the world of course bemoan and upbraid this trifling inconvenience. But the working, struggling Londoners, cabmen and ’busmen, you and I, display our indomitable good-humour to advantage. I stayed on top of a ’bus for half an hour in the block on Monday at Hyde Park Corner and talked with the driver. People are often disappointed in a ’bus-driver because they expect a wit and a pretty swearer. They find neither, but they find an overworked man of extraordinary cheerfulness, responsive, ready to laugh. He is master of his business—a fact emphasized by the fog—to a degree refreshing to one whose experience of men professing some practical calling is that the great majority, some from mere stupidity, some from over-hasty enthusiasm, are quite incompetent. When finally I left him, his mate piloted me through wheels and horses to the pavement, and I felt I had been among folk who deserve to live. On Sunday night I walked a mile to my abode, and made a point of asking my whereabouts of every one I met. Not one church or even hurried answer: politeness, jokes, reminiscences, laughter. We are a kindly people, and it is worth a fog to know it. Another pleasure of a fog is a mild but extended form of the pleasure we feel when we hear that a millionaire has broken his leg. The too fortunate are suffering a discontent health cannot remove. There was in that block a fat brougham containing an important-looking old man who foamed at the mouth, and one reflected that there was a temporary equality of fourtunes.

Such are the pleasures we may take in a London fog.

G . S.斯特里特

有位熟人曾经好意向我指出,我的这些胡乱涂抹的作品之中,内省、沉思与默想的份量过多。“走出去吧”,他劝我道,“到那美好世界中去走走,然后写出你的见闻。”我认为他这看法不对。实际的情形是,目前描绘性的文字才是过多。去一处地方,并在去时写下一篇流水帐式的描述,这都不是难事。我毫不怀疑确切地描绘出种种有形之物是一位艺术家的天职。但是艺术家毕竟为数有限,而容易干的事绝不愁没人去干:因而我深感我们中一些粗制滥造的人尽可坐在家中去思考一番。其结果也许无动人之处,但这种做法极不常见,因而可能给作品带来某种特殊的风味,读来尚不致使人人觉着乏味,如我这位相识所感受的那样。不过,我是经常接受劝告的,于是既经拜受教益,我便取帽出门,走入那美好的世界,而所抱目的——虽说不是高尚目的——便是去写出我的见闻。

不幸的是那天适逢大雾。说起雾来,有教养的读者当然会一致肯定伦敦的雾是美的。但是这位唯一从来不曾描写过雾的伦敦文士恐怕还是维持他那不写的荣誉为好。再说,我对自己的审美品质是否过时这点,也不无疑虑。惊异、神奇、有趣,等等,是我对伦敦雾的看法:至于它的美便多少有些逸出我的粗鄙视野了。如其是一阵轻雾或薄雾,这时我们还能看到周围四十码外,也还有它一种迷离幻异的魅力,但是对于一团浓密障翳的迷雾便很难这样来说。对于上周整周期间,我在黄昏时分于海德与坎星顿一带公园内所见到的林木及其远景之美,我是至少能带着感情或感激之情去写的。那些冬天树木孤零零的风姿,它们那光净横斜的枝枒——无法形容的秀美,在天际一片溟濛的紫色雾霭衬托下,异常夺目,而在这块美丽的仙境中,橙黄的灯光也点点斑斑,相映成趣——这一切都具有一种奇幻与魔术般的美,而我也深自庆幸这回我能一连数日地前往观赏。但是紧接着就要去认识一团污浊的雾气也大有其美在,我的感官一时实在转不过来。因此我不能不把这番描写暂时阙如。毕竟,人们总是好于替雾宣传,说雾对文人乃是一种恩赐,理由是雾能强使他们下点内省工夫,而这场雾也迫使我再度陷入思考,因为天意注定我是要使我那位相识失望的。

不管美还是不美,一场伦敦的雾总是大有文章可做的。它能给我们带来我们时刻都需要的那一切“变化”。遇到我们的这个世界已快成了不可辨认,而在它逐渐逐渐变得又可以辨认时,其光景迥异其常态,这当儿,即使我们中最愚蠢的人也不难看出,我们眼前的变异之大,殊不下于从这里去一趟格拉斯哥。又如,到了家里,或到了俱乐部,这类平凡单调的日常细事也几乎都成了惊人的壮举,功成之后不免要深深松一口气,自幸安全脱险——这时人们至少获得一种不寻常的新鲜之感。这时你我已经不是一个上俱乐部去玩的人,而仿佛是一个海员航行遇险,在九死一生之际。终获得救,并将受到一群前此非常冷漠而此时则非常激动的侍者们的热烈欢迎。的确,一场迷雾所带给伦敦人的变化之大而且深,真实连去里微埃腊避雾避寒也有所不及。再次,雾还能把最足以为人们博得荣誉的仁慈宽厚、欢欣愉快等美德大大发扬出来。当然,它也会把富裕人中的那种极度自私自利揭露出来。那些活在世上几乎无忧无虑的人自然会为这点小小不便而痛哭流涕和咒骂不已。但是辛勤劳动、艰苦奋斗的伦敦人,像那些马车夫和汽车夫,像你和我,却会把我们那种一往无前的欢快心情发扬光大。某星期一我便在海德角附近街上的公共汽车顶端乘坐过半个小时,并一路与司机攀谈。人们往往对一个汽车司机感到失望,因为他们认为他应该会说会骂,而他却没有这类长处,但是却应看出,这是一个工作辛苦之极但却异常欢快的人,勤快周到,笑口常开。他在自己的工作上是个行家——这点雾天最能突出——而其熟练程度之高,对于那种凭经验,总以为从事实际行业的人往往不是愚蠢就是冒失,因而就其绝大多数都不称职的人士来说,总是一件快事吧。最后我离开他时,他的副手引我绕过车轮马蹄,一直送我到人行道上,这时我觉得我的周围的确都是好人。上星期日晚上,我曾步行一英里回我寓所,一路之上,我只要碰到一个人,就向他问路。但是没有遇到过一个粗鲁甚至简慢的回答:个个都是彬彬有礼,俏皮风趣,话今道故,有说有笑。我们这个民族确实是个厚道的民族,能体会这点,即便遇上一次雾,也是值得的。雾的另外一种乐趣类似我们听到某个百万富翁折断了腿时所感到的乐趣,只是性质上比较温和比较冲淡。这种特别幸运的人往往好受心情不快的折磨,即使健康良好也不能把它驱掉。那个街区一辆宽敞的轿式车上便载着一位派头十足的老头,口吐白沫,大发雷霆。看到这个,人们不禁感到,在命运上这回总算有了一点暂时的平等。

这些便是我们在一场伦敦雾中所可能得到的一些乐趣。

(高健 译)



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